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Feds Crack Down On Unemployment Benefit Fraud

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Federal authorities in the Metro East revealed Friday the first of a series of indictments for stealing unemployment benefits.

It is a national problem. A federal grand jury has issued 19 indictments against Illinois residents accused of stealing more than $368,000 from the Illinois Unemployment Assistance Program.

According to court documents, all the suspects claimed they were out of work and eligible for unemployment pay, yet they were working for pay or actually serving time in prison.

US Attorney Stephen Wigginton was joined by agents for the Department of Labor and the US Postal System who shared in the 11-month investigation.

Wigginton says it is part of an ongoing effort to crack down on white collar crime that is harming programs designed to help the elderly or those in need.